Deepali is 18 years old.
Education : 9th
Address: Vishrantwadi slam, Pune.
I am Deepali my parent’s are no more my uncle & aunty look after me. I have one brother. When I was at home I felt insecure about my life & future
When I learned tailoring in Green tara foundation I feel very secure & proud about my self, I am earning money so I can save money for my future . I am getting confidence in me day by day in future I will be green tara ‘ s staff I want to do something for poor girls like me very thanks for karuna trust & green tara foundation. I got my way to secure life through learning tailoring
Not all of the girls who live in the slums are fortunate enough to benefit from the interventions offered by this project. In fact most are not, and so end up marrying while they are very young and dropping out of school. This was the case for almost all of the girls a few years ago, before project activities began here. Now the situation is slowly changing.
For the young women who had no opportunity to escape early marriage and domestic servitude, the project provides them with a chance of improving their situation. Many come to project activities, benefitting from an environment of peers (most of the women seldom leave their houses before attending), sharing their stories, and giving assistance and support to the staff and the younger girls. Some take part in the skills development courses to improve their own situations.
Pratibha is 28. She is married with 4 children and lives with her husband and mother in law. They live in the Bhimnagar slums, Vishrantwadi, in a small house of one room with a tin roof. Her husband is a driver and his 6,000rs (£64) a month salary doesn't quite cover the basic needs of the family.
Prabhita wanted her children to study so they would not have to struggle as they parents do. They saved as much money as they could and the children were going to school, but there was no money for their books, and not enough for oil to cook food.
Then one day Pratibha spoke to a neighbour of hers who had attended sewing classes, Motivated by the wish to educate her children, she was inspired to do the same and started going along.
She has now been attending classes for 6 months, and has gained a lot of confidence and new experiences through leaving the house and socialising with other women. In terms of income, she can earn up to 120rs a day for sewing things for others, and this 3,000rs or so a month raises the household income by half.
They can now afford both food and books and educational materials for the children. Pratibha says the house is also more peaceful now there is not the pressure of making sure there was enough money every day. The relationship with her mother in law is much improved now that she is able to contribute to the family financially. Furthermore, she has made a lot of new friends, and is confident that with the support of those around her, her business can grow.
Now Pratibha is happy, her home is peaceful, and her children stand a chance of escaping the poverty which binds their parents.
Thank you, as always, for funding this life changing work.
I am delighted to be able to share with you an update on this year's cycle of activities, working with marginalised girls in the Vishrantwadi slums.
Summary of activties and some achievements
The project has seen another successful year of new girls from the slum communities benefitting from the project activities. Many new girls have been attracted to the vocational training, through which many have found jobs, and are now financially independent.
Key achievements include: 1,100 girls attending life skills sessions to learn about nutrition; 104 girls being diagnosed as anaemic through health camps, 1,080 girls attending self-confidence and communication skills; and 376 girls engaging in vocational training. Overall, the difference between the girls who are attending project classes and the others in the community are quite stark in terms of life skills, aspiration, confidence, and communication skills.
The project has continued to build rapport and good relationships with local NGOs and government institutions, engaging in joint activities, maximising resources and sharing learning and best practice.
There has also been success in persuading parents whose daughters have dropped out of school to allow them to re-enrol. Enlisting parental support for the education of girls in these areas, as well as the study-support classes provided by the project, have played a major role in girls staying in school.
Changes to planned activities
Future plans of the project
I will be updating you all soon with more stories from the ground. Without this work, most of these girls would have no chance of escpaing the slums, and the situation would not be much different for their children. Thank you, as always, for continuing to fund this life changing work.
When working with grassroot projects such as this, you regularly come across situations so moving, they make you stop and reconsider your life. This happens quite a lot actually.
I have always known that Dr Mune's team of women come from the same slum communities as the young girls which they are helping, though I had not always appreciated what this meant. This puts them in the best position to help for many reasons. They themselves have had to go through the same discrimination and lack of opportunity, and therefore are perfect role models. They also live amongst the girls, in the very same neighbourhoods, and so both can see the reality of each others' life on a regular basis.
Rani is one such woman. She has been working for the team and the project for 3 years or so, and is responsible for co-ordinating many of the project activities. Her father having died, she overcame a lot to earn complete her education, find employment and support her mother. She now earns a living through helping to empower girls in the slums.
As we walk around the neighbourhood, someone points out that this is Rani's house. I am amazed. The haphazard arrangement of brick and corrugated iron is among the poorest of the houses which we see (of which there are many). We go inside, where Rani's mother is delighted to receive us.
She tells me how proud she is of her daughter, and how difficult things have been in the years since Rani's father passed away. She's especially happy because this year they have saved enough to repair the roof. I ask her what she means and she points to a corner of the house. The roofing has come away from the brickwork and for the last 2 years when it rains, water has come flooding into the house. The house itself is tiny anyway - basically one room, separated into 2 - a small kitchen and a living/sleeping area.
Through working for the project, Rani can not only support her mother, but has also been able to save for the costly roof repairs. This flies in the face of everything girls here are told they are capable of.
This project is empowering not only the beneficiaries - the slums girls - but also the staff themselves. Women like Rani, who are the first generation of informed and independent young women to emerge from the slums, are the real changemakers you are supporting with your donations. Thank you.
Thank you for supporting for this important work. Below I have again included some experiences from my recent trip, which I hope are interesting for you. Also, Globalgiving are running a matching campaign on Wednesday 13th March, which I have included some information about underneath.
In a small room, in a building adjacent to the project offices in the Vishrantwadi slums, I sit amongst the latest batch of sewing students. They range in age from 13 to mid-20s, and chat and laugh as they work, apart from when trying to pay attention to some some new technique they are being taught. The experience of leaving their homes, forming friendships and discussing things with their peers is as important for these women as the hard skills they are learning.
The atmosphere is relaxed, and there is a warmth and friendship between the women. They have only known each other for a few months at the most, but in that time they have grown very close, and seeing each other most days of the week.
They tell me that before coming to these classes they would do nothing. Nothing. That's the word they use. When I push them a little further, it seems nothing means housework and perhaps watching some televison. They say they never thought to do anything else. Those who were unmarried would be forbid from leaving the house by their parents and brothers, and those who were married would be similarly forbidden by their husbands. In addition, they themselves were scared to leave, with almost no confidence or social skills.
Sara tells me, among other things, about how they share their joys and their pains with one another. She tells me how good it is for all of them to have found others they can talk to, others that are experiencing the same thing. I ask them if they still experience resistance from their families and their husbands. "Oh yes, some mornings we start with a lot of tears" she says laughing. The other women laugh too.
However, somehow they have all managed to get themselves to classes. Some have changed the minds of their families and partners, while others come to classes secretly and when they can. Yet others, it seems, are just having to stand their ground. They can all do this because of the support they recieve from each other, which depends on the support they recieve from you.
Thank you all for supporting these women to gain the confidence they have lacked until now.
On Wednesday 13th March, Globalgiving USA is matching all donations with a 30% contribution, up to $1,000 per donor. This is a unique opportunity to make your contribution to these activities count for even more than usual. Please do consider donating on this day, or letting people who might be interested know. The matching will begin at 9am ET.
With gratitude and best wishes,
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